You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mailbag. Many of you are still in football mode, wondering about the recently completed bowl season—while also wanting to sneak a peek toward 2012. Here we go.
CHICAGO – BTN will debut a powerful new original series called Impact the World, which shifts the focus from the playing field to the world stage, where Big Ten universities continue to make their presence known. Impact debuts at 9:30 PM ET Tuesday, Jan. 10, and will air weekly through the winter.
Find out more about: Impact the World
Wisconsin junior running back Montee Ball is returning for his senior season with the Badgers. Ball made the announcement in a Thursday afternoon press conference in Madison. Ball added he plans to add at least 10 pounds in the offseason to get stronger while increasing his speed in order to raise his stock in the NFL Draft after next season. “I believe I’m making the right decision,” Ball said.
Find out more about: Montee Ball, NFL Draft
Penn State sophomore guard Maggie Lucas wasted no time making a name for herself in the Big Ten. Last year as a freshman, she scored nearly 16 points per game, broke the league’s single-season record for most 3-pointers, earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors eight times and was ultimately named the Big Ten’s freshman and sixth player of the year. Basketball analyst and writer Patricia Babcock McGraw talks to Lucas in her latest Gimme 5 audio segment. Jump down in this post to read and hear more.
Find out more about: Gimme 5
Give Rodney Williams an inch anywhere near the rim, and he’ll make you look silly. The Minnesota junior has springs in his shoes, something Iowa witnessed in the second half of Wednesday night’s game at Williams Arena. On this particular play, Williams turned a Julian Welch missed 3-pointer into a gem of a highlight. The Hawkeyes forgot to account for Williams on the glass, somehow, and he made them pay with a powerful putback of the errant shot. And Williams hung on the rim for style — and to avoid landing on Zach McCabe, we suppose. Watch the play now.
It’s no secret that Illinois’ Meyers Leonard is blessed with a lot of athleticism. The 7-foot-1 big man moves and leaps unlike most guys his size, and he displayed it once again Wednesday at Northwestern. Late in the first half – a frustrating one for Leonard and the Illini – the breakout sophomore jumped out of the gym on a one-handed slam. Look at how high he got up there. And listen to that rim rattle! As BTN color commentator Shon Morris put it: “I think that rim is going to file assault charges.” Watch the dunk now and see his game-sealing block in this post.
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema just finished his season, but his work is only beginning. Bielema is watching his coaching staff fall apart. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has taken the Pitt job and reportedly will take Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad with him.